Truancy Volume 112: Kid Antoine

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the Her Records stable. In fact, our only complaint (dictated through greed) is that we don’t hear enough from them. This goes especially so for the Danish component of the crew, the Club Prince, Kid Antoine. The snippets we’ve heard from him, whether on his Soundcloud, Her Records Volume 3 or The Astral Plane’s Heterotopia compilation, piqued serious interest amongst club music fans but further material was tough to come by. This is all about to change. Following an extended US tour by the original members of the label, Kid Antoine’s Proximity EP (HER009) has been announced and we’re delighted to be sharing his entry into the Truancy Volume series by way of accompaniment. These vivid 40 minutes are energetically supercharged and draw on the same UK funky, dembow and ballroom influences as the new release. Some of the EP’s tracks are to be found inside, along with exclusives abound and a very welcome showing of Freeze Tag Booty. We also got to put a few questions to Kid Antoine over email and you can read the enlightening interview below. His driving forces, both in terms of sonic inspiration and geographic location, are particularly fascinating and only increase our curiosity in what’s to come.

Hello Anton! Thanks so much for the mix. How are you today? “You’re welcome! Feeling very good at the moment, I just quit my job.  Now I have the amazing privilege of being able to wake up and go straight to working on my music. I’m still laying in my bed right now but I’m looking to do something productive as soon as I wake up, like now I’m writing this. Drippin told me he gets up at 6AM every day to go to the studio, I’m not quite on that level yet haha, but I’m trying.”

I was hoping you could start off with telling us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a producer? “My name is Anton, I’m 20 years old and from Copenhagen. Back in 4th grade I was writing raps with my friends and my parents got me Magix Music Maker Hip Hop Edition, which was a drag’n’drop loops program. There was a piano roll in it too. It was more like a step sequencer with little boxes that you could tick, very cryptic to use. One or two years later I got Cubase which was just too much for me. Luckily I found out about FruityLoops and the step sequencer was basically how I learned the concepts of music e.g. realising the 4/4 structure. Just the most basic basics, but I really remember that as a revelation to me, going “Aaaaah this is how music works” haha. So I really feel like a child of that technology and almost a personal relation to these programs because “they” taught me how to make music. Fast forward three or four more years and I was using an MPC and Logic to make beats. I got really bored of it so I sold it all and tried out Ableton Live. That really gave me the same feeling that I had with Fruity Loops, the curiosity to experiment and be able to do anything you want, because you can “program” the music. The MPC is really limited to what you are able to create physically, using your hands to play.”

What’s the music/club scene like in Copenhagen? It’s not often mentioned among the major ones in Europe. “From my perspective, it’s been hard to say anything good about it, but 2015 is looking more interesting for sure. It’s very rare that there will be a club night here that I would want to go to, so I’m really glad whenever it actually happens. There are 2 different club nights right now that I am excited about and they seem to be held maybe every 3-4 months, so there is a long time between the cool nights. The festivals here are really what mostly brings the music I want to hear – Distortion being the one that usually delivers the club names and it’s spread over a very intense week.  I’m very excited to see the Sonar Festival coming to Copenhagen, that is a huge leap forward for us. In general we do get opportunities to hear great stuff in Copenhagen, it’s just a bit inconsistent.”

Having said that, there are plenty of great producers coming out of Scandinavia. You and Eloq both from Denmark. Drippin from Norway. Cashmere Cat’s in a different field altogether but he’s gone global recently. First off, do you think there’s any particular reason we’re seeing so much quality electronic music coming from your part of the world? And secondly, is there anybody else we should be keeping an eye out for? “I think the youth here are educated to be open-minded and so in general have an open approach to new music. There is an audience to present it to, people who care about what’s going on. The problem is just that not a lot of people are taught to create, at least that’s the situation in Denmark. In Scandinavia there’s an unwritten law, the law of Jante, which basically translates to “You’re not to think you are anything special”. It’s a really cliché thing for us to bring up as the cause of the problem, but I really think it makes artists try to push boundaries to be distanced from general society. I recently met up with some friends from Berlin who had noticed that the Danish lifestyle is very admired but it’s also very uniform compared to theirs. The few people who differ from this way of living life will always have a strong will to proceed, and that’s how great art is created. It’s funny that you mention these three names since I’ve worked with all of them in one way or another. Out to them and fellow Scandinavians Dinamarca, Al Tariq, Why Be, Slick Shoota, M. Wrecker, Kablam, Emil_ (Skawr), the list goes on!”

You’re just about to release your debut EP, Proximity, on Her Records. How did you link up with those guys? “I had done these little clips that I had uploaded to Soundcloud and never really bothered finishing. One of those was Expected Encounter. I had no network at all, but NKC heard my tracks on there and passed them to Sudanim and Miss Modular. They reached out and said they wanted it for the 3rd volume of the Her Records compilation. In the meantime my computer had broken, so I had to dig out the project file from an old hard disk. The recreation of the project file was a pain but I managed to finish the track. I had never heard about Her Records before so it was a discovery for me as well! We clicked really well on our approach to club music so it came pretty natural for us to exchange ideas and tracks, it just developed from there.”

We’ve heard odd tracks from you before, on compilations and on your Soundcloud, but how was the process of putting together your first full solo release? “The whole process was very simple and straight forward actually. The EP just formed around the theme I’ve been making tracks with for the last year and a half or so, this concept of battle inspired music for the club. Expected Encounter was the start to that and the EP just might be the finish of it, and thereby a time to find new inspiration. I already had a lot of the ideas for track names and the scenarios they soundtracked in my head. When I felt a track taking a specific direction in the working process, it usually clicked with the track names I already had. I feel that track names are very important, planting an idea of what a track is about. Working on and finishing these tracks also made me very confident in my ways of approaching music production, so I have a lot of things that I’m trying out right now for future material.”

One of the things we love about the label is that you’re all obviously linked through this genealogy of “club” music, but everybody has their own influences which make them stand out from each other. Who are some of your influences from out of the ordinary? “Yeah we really have a common ground. That’s also one of the reasons why I think we got connected so fast. I am influenced and fascinated by ear catching pop music melodies, and I always try writing a melody that I will be able to remember when I wake up the next day – then I know I can continue working on it. Also, I used to listen to Dilla, Madlib and Samiyam/Flying Lotus stuff all the time, and still enjoy it. It isn’t really obvious in my music but it’s still an influence one way or another. I take a lot of inspiration from Movie FX and Foley stuff, but also the acoustic design of products. The sound of a car door being closed and so on. It’s something I’m trying to dive a bit more into. When I was younger I was on a one week internship at a sound studio that does a lot of the biggest Danish productions. It really opened my eyes to that whole part of not just scoring a movie, but actually sculpting the real life sound of it.”

What can you tell us about the mix? Looking at the tracklist it seems to contain a whole load of exclusives! “I’ve been working on and gathering music to do a mix like this with exclusive tracks from friends for a while now, so it was really satisfying to finally finish it. There are a couple of little new edits from me in there as well as two tracks from the EP. The mix starts off around the 110 BPM mark, with some evocative productions from the Her Crew and climbs steadily, evolving into faster high energy stuff before closing off with my melody edit of Beyonce’s already iconic “7/11”. Hope you like it!”

Kid Antoine – Stress
Cyphr – Ekleipsis (MM Edit)
Cyphr – ???
Divoli S’vere x Beek – Blow Ya Smoke (Strawberry Kush Remix) (KA edit)
Paul Marmota – Lifi
Celestial Trax – After All
Sami Baha – (NASA) Domain Awareness System
Drippin – Ethereal Blade (demo)
Putobronze – Acaba Com Tudo
Kid Antoine – Motion Sensor
Krakmaxter Cicloff – Batida Kuduro Loko G
Ctrl Trax – Intertropical Convergance Zone (KA edit)
K Kutta – Freeze Tag Booty
Dinamarca – Descontrol (Drippin Remix) (demo)
Ca$h Out – I Want The Money (MM Club Fix)
Eloq & Kid Antoine – Orion
Kid Antoine – Recon (MM Remix)
Brenmar & Julius Sylvest – Air Ball
Drippin & MM – LMK (demo)
DJ Xav – Flex Clique Anthem 3
Cirqa – Ion
Divoli S’vere – Meteor Effectz
Kid Antoine – Proximity
Beyonce – 7/11 (KA edit)

Proximity is released on the 16th March. You can preorder it here.

Matt Coombs